Eastern Samar mayor charged for alleged irregularities in SAP distribution

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – A mayor in Eastern Samar is facing charges for allegedly intervening in the distribution of the P5,000 cash aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The Criminal Investigation and Detection in Region 8 (CIDG-8) filed complaints against Mayor Thelma Nicart of San Policarpo, Eastern Samar.

She was charged for violations of Sec. 3(f) and (j) of the Republic Act 3019, in relation to RA 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act) before the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

The cases stemmed from the complaints of Barangay Chairman Rudy Picardal and some constituents of Barangay Tanauan of San Policarpo town who alleged that no one from their barangay received SAP cash assistance due to the intervention of the respondent-mayor.

The complainants further alleged that Nicart diverted the SAP benefits that was supposed to be allocated for their barangay to other barangays since they were not political supporters of the mayor and her family.

It can be recalled that last week, the CIDG-8 also filed cases against some village officials in Villaba, Leyte and Maasin City, Southern Leyte for alleged irregularities in SAP distribution.

A total of P2,980,470,000 was allotted by DSWD to be distributed among 548,226 families in Eastern Visayas with a completion rate of 91.97 percent.